Reported on late last year, many have probably heard of the unfortunate situation the Wallaceburg Minor Lacrosse Association currently finds itself in, their club bank accounts flushed by one of their own in 2010, leaving them with countless unpaid bills and other expenses.
The accounts were gutted by the club’s now very much former treasurer, Jeff Fields, along with two local women, all three charged with fraud for their despicable acts. It is believed in excess of $70,000 was taken from the WMLA, the money never to be seen again after the excused floundered the funds shortly after depleting the accounts.
The Wallaceburg Association has seen the likes of Brad MacArthur, Bill Taylor, Marvin Barr, Josh McNaughton, Shane Pollock, Chris Lalonde and current Minnesota Swarm vet forward Sean Pollock drafted into the National Lacrosse League, Pollock and others helping raise funds for the club with a dinner and auction on February 19th at the Cookhouse at Oaks Inn in Wallaceburg. The night’s and next season’s theme will be “Keeping the Griffin Tradition Alive”.
“I think it is an absolute shame that someone could do this to an organization,” Pollock told IL Indoor this week in regards to the trio that left the association reeling. ”Lacrosse in Wallaceburg means so much to the town which has been decimated by the falling economy. I know there are many great people there who will make sure that there will be games to play and a place for the youth to compete.”
The Swarm have stepped up and donated a trip package that includes two tickets to Minnesota Wild NHL game, two tickets to a Swarm game, and two nights accommodations and return flights from Detroit to Minnesota. The Toronto Rock have also added platinum tickets to one of their games, while Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings tickets are also up for bids, along with NHL memorabilia that includes a Steve Yzerman Team Canada signed jersey and stick inked by San Jose Sharks forward Joe Thorton, who is from the nearby city of London, Ontario.
“They are doing great things to get this back up and running and I know they will come back even stronger than they were before,” Pollock added. ”The whole community should be very proud of what they have done to try and put this back together. Even though they still have a lot to do to get back on their feet, I am very confident they will do so.”
Last month former WLAer and IL Indoor contributor Chris Fox donated partial sales of his comany’s (Vagabond Lacrosse) Rugburn DVD to the WMLA, while countless other community based companies have also donated both cheques and items to the club’s February auction.
“It is a very proud town with many tough minded people and I can’t wait to see them get back on their feet,” Pollock said. ”This is a town of ten thousand people and we compete with the likes of Windsor, Sarnia and London and do well. That shows the kind of talent and heart that the people of Wallaceburg have.”
For more information on next month’s dinner and auction or how else you can help the WMLA out, visit www.wallaceburglacrosse.com.
PLUS THE LINKS
With former NLL Goalie of the Year Kenny Montour still sidelined with post-concussion related issues, the Buffalo Bandits have turned to recent Mann Cup winner Mike Thompson, who isn’t afraid of the increased work demands, recently saying, “I’m comfortable and willing to take the workload. I’m sad to see Kenny down, but I talked to him recently and he has high hopes. I’m looking forward to carrying on the workload and hopefully lead the Bandits to a championship.” (Buffalo Bandits)… Maybe the hottest team in the NLL, the Minnesota Swarm look for their third straight W going into the NLL’s Week 4, a big reason for their impressive play due to the work of backstop Nick Patterson, Head Coach Mike Lines saying, “He’s confident. He’s back to playing and enjoying himself. He’s having fun and focusing. Nick has made three of four saves in each game that he has no business making. They are highlight reel saves.” (Minnesota Swarm)… Cody Jamieson, who for the second straight week was named the NLL’s Rookie of the Week, says (in regards to the Hawks’ recent success), “We know what we have in this locker room and we have a lot of character. We believe in each other. You just know that things like that are going to happen.” (Rochester Knighthawks)… Currently listed as day-to-day in the Rock lineup, Inside Lacrosse checked in with Garrett Billings in the mag’s most recent print edition, Billings saying, “Grow up playing Canadian box lacrosse, it gets a little wonky early on in the summer; guys aren’t back from college lacrosse or the NLL yet so it’s not that serious. But when you’re playing NLL from day one, especially for Troy Cordingley and Terry Sanderson, it’s all business from the first training camp.” (Inside Lacrosse)… Although now at a minimum, post-lap dance coverage continues in the Boston area, The Huntington News quoting a local senior psychology major, who says, “If people just want to have a good time then you can’t really get mad about it. It’s just kids having fun.” (Huntington News)… Playing his 20th NLL campaign, John Tavares was hoping the league might be a little bit further in their quest for mainstream success, telling the Canadian Press, “If you asked me 10 years ago, I’d say this sport is not too far off being a major pro sport in North America but I’ve seen a lot of teams come in and then go out within a year or two. I’ve been disappointed that we haven’t got further into being a major pro sport in terms of the number of games and the number of teams. It hurts that we’ve lost teams. But it makes all the teams that are left better. There’s a lot of parity and every game this year is a good game.” (CP via Winnipeg Free Press)The foremost boxla writer, Tutka is a former NLL scout and a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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